Surfing in San Sebastian, Spain: Not Just a Nice Summer Activity

Segolene Pruvot

By Segolene Pruvot, on July 20th, 2015

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Spain? Surf? These are not only summer holidays dreams but also a very sound basis for the growth of the urban economy in the city of San Sebastian, Spain.

There, the surf cluster has been singled out as a new growth opportunity. The city worked with the whole surfing cluster (tourism industry, producers of surf equipment, surf schools..). It’s the perfect practical example of the abstract theorem of the triple helix and it shows how the city, companies and universities can work together to create jobs.

Thanks to this collaboration, the revenues of the surf sector went from 14 to 21 million euros within 3 years and about 100 jobs were created and the university developed successfully the prototype for a new surf board for blind people! Definitely an inclusive process!

This is one of the successful examples coming out of the URBACT projects and presented in the New Urban Economies video.

As Willem van Winden, URBACT Expert, puts it ‘A good lesson is ‘not to copy others’ because every city is unique, so don’t follow the last policy trend but find your own way!’

If you want to get more background research and examples, such as the one of Linköping, Sweden, where the university teamed up with the region’s businesses to make them greener or Cluj, Romania, where business and academics worked together to develop the IT and Digital sector, read the full New Urban Economies report!

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